Huw Lewis Minister for Education has announced his intentions to publish a Draft rather than a formal Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill before the summer and further consultation activity will continue until December 2015.

This will allow families to comment on and respond to the detailed legislative proposals in a much more meaningful way before they are introduced to the formal Assembly scrutiny process. The legislation itself will now not be introduced to the Assembly until after next May’s election – early in the next Assembly.

A ‘Draft Bill’ is not formally laid and does not formally trigger any work or scrutiny by a particular Committee (whereas a Bill is remitted to a designated Committee who have to report on it by a certain date).  A Draft bill is a proposed bill and is usually accompanied by an extensive briefing paper explaining the rationale behind the bill. A Draft Bill is in effect like any other Welsh Government consultation document, only a more concrete plan of what is being proposed. However, rather than being introduced directly in the Assembly, a draft bill is usually published to enable additional consultation and pre-legislative scrutiny. This allows proposed changes to be made before the Bill’s formal introduction. By doing so, the Government may hope that this will make it easier for the bill to be adopted. The draft bill is a further step between a White Paper and the actual legislation.

An early draft of a new ALN Code of Practice and an outline of the Welsh Governments plans for implementation will also be published in the autumn term.

Comment and feedback on these documents will be welcomed by the WG until December 2015.

The Minister has agreed to consider the drafts in light of feedback and work cross party to gain the necessary support to ensure that the Bill is bought forward for formal scrutiny early in the new Assembly Term.

SNAP Cymru will continue to work with the Welsh Government and have agreed to hold several consultations with children and families across Wales in the Autumn term.

see > ALN announcement by Huw Lewis Minister for education

The National Assembly for Wales Research Service has also recently produced an  overview of the current legal framework for Special Educational Needs (SEN) in Wales ahead of anticipated draft legislation in summer 2015.

Current provisions and processes are explained, along with the journey of review and reform that has taken place throughout much of the post-devolution era. Statistics on the numbers of learners, levels of expenditure and relative academic performance of pupils with SEN are also included. Special Educational Needs (SEN)/Additional Learning Needs (ALN) in Wales – Research Paper New Publication: Special Educational Needs (SEN)/Additional Learning Needs (ALN) in Wales – Research Paper. 05 June 2015, National Assembly for Wales Research Service

English Welsh

Transition from one system to another has the potential to cause anxiety for those families who are directly involved, consequently SNAP Cymru is continuing to share information on the proposals with families and professionals across Wales. For further information please contact training@snapcymru.org